Daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr by Gwladus, daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn. About 1100 she married Gerald of Pembroke; there were at least three sons of the union - William, Maurice, and David Fitz-Gerald - and a daughter, Angharad, wife of William of Manorbier and mother of Giraldus Cambrensis. Clearly a woman of great charm and beauty, she became the mistress of many lovers. Her romantic abduction (almost in her husband's presence) by her kinsman, Owain ap Cadwgan, in 1109, has earned her notoriety as the 'Helen of Wales.' Her numerous offspring included Robert Fitz-Stephen and Henry ' filius regis ' - her child by king Henry I. The date of her death is unknown, but she lived until well after 1136. There were others of the same name less famous than the subject of this notice: Nest, daughter of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, Nest, the wife of Bernard Newmarch, and Nest, daughter of Gruffydd ap Rhys.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.